Google Voice Scam: What Is It & How To Avoid It
- Scammers often exploit technology to get their way, and Google Voice is on many of their radars.
- If you fall for the Google Voice scam, your personal exposure is very limited unless the scammer hacks your Google account.
- In case you fall victim to this scam, you can easily reclaim your account using the Google Voice page.
Google Voice scam is a fraudulent activity that occurs when scammers hijack a victim’s phone number to create a Google voice number. Then, they make use of the number for fraudulent activities.
Google voice scam usually happens on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and similar websites. Unfortunately, providing your number on your profile leaves you open to scams such as Google Voice scams.
Scammers can pretend to want to buy from you but need to verify your identity. Meanwhile, their real intention is to impersonate you for their scam projects.
This isn’t the only scam that you can encounter, and we already wrote about the Windows Defender order scam.
How safe is Google Voice?
Speaking of the safety of Google Voice, it is considered secure like other Google services. When you send and receive text messages and attachments on Google Voice, they’re stored securely in Google data centers.
Data is encrypted in transit from a Google Voice client to Google, and when stored at rest.
Google users are especially encouraged to use an authenticator app for their 2FA codes to reduce the chances of someone hijacking their account after a data breach.
There’s one downside to this method since your Google Voice number is tied to your Google account. If hackers manage to compromise your Google account, you’re back to square one because they’ll also have access to your 2FA codes.
What can a hacker do with my Google Voice number?
If you fall for the Google Voice scam, your exposure is very limited. But unfortunately, this does not apply to the people that the hacker contacts next.
Google Voice numbers are routinely used to steal thousands of dollars. They are used for everything from shopping to investment scams.
To avoid being an unwitting accomplice, it’s important to take your phone number back as soon as possible, and in this guide, we’ll show you how to deal with a Google Voice code hack.
How do I reverse a Google Voice Scam?
Reclaim your number
- Go to Google Voice official page to create an account.
- Click For Personal use and choose a platform from Android, iOS, and Web.
- Log in to the existing Google account and click Continue.
- Click the Settings icon and select the New linked number.
- Input the stolen phone number and you will receive a warning that the number is already in use.
- Choose Yes when asked if you want to reclaim it.
- Enter the six-digit verification code sent to the new number provided for verification.
- Then, your number will be reversed.
Provided you are aware that somebody is using your number, it’s easy to perform recovery after the Google Voice scam.
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You can also report the Google Voice scammer to the authorities to prevent this from happing again.
What is a 6-digit Google Verification code?
A Google verification code is a short (six) numeric code that is sent directly to you, usually via phone or email, to verify your identity.
You might need to enter a verification code if you try to create a new Google account, reset your password, or log into a different computer or device.
It is no different in the case of retrieving your Google Voice number. You should receive a text message saying something like —##### is your Google Voice verification code. Don’t share it with anyone else— you best want to pay attention to the last sentence.
Google Voice Scammers need this six-digit code to take control of your Google Voice number to perpetuate their nefarious acts.
What do I do after Google Voice Scam?
Phone verification scams are pretty easy to fall for if you’ve never heard of them before. However, all you need to avoid the scam is to understand that there is no legitimate reason for anyone to ever ask you for a code.
You can also avoid these scams by keeping your phone number private, but this usually isn’t practical. Legitimate buyers are just as worried about being ripped off as legitimate sellers.
However, if your legitimate buyer is bent on verifying your identity, do anything that does not require you to give off a code, be it a video call, a picture of the product they intend to buy, etc.
The most common way to fall victim to a Google Voice scam is to send your verification code to the other party, so you should never do this.
It is also worth noting that nobody can create a Google Voice account (GVA) with your number if you already have one.
Lastly, don’t forget to report the Google Voice scam to the authorities if you fall victim to it or if anybody asks you for your verification code.
This isn’t the only type of scam going around, and many have fallen victim to FedEx text scams, so be sure to inform yourself and stay vigilant online.
We believe this article is helpful and has provided you with some security. Have you any questions or comments? Please feel free to drop them in the comments section below.